Metal echoes strength.
The first impression when you view a piece of metal is that of strength; It’s characteristics, its resonance, it’s internal density and dexterity gives us an indication of its potency.
Metal is sound; Metal resonates; it is an expression of strength. Concurrently, it is also an expression of suppression. Despite its density, it’s malleability, allows us to exploit, to manipulate as one desires. The metaphor that then captivates me, is evaluating miners, who unearth iron ore from mines, transport it, melt it, and fragment it from its raw form – that of iron ore. For me, the journey or the miner and the metal draw parallels.
In conjunction with this allegory, my works are both raw and formed. Owing to their character, I have oxidized some pieces so that they give us a sense of age; others have been painted silver or black and for others I have left them to rust. With rusting you see the impression of the hammer, with black you see the strength of the hammer, whereas with silver the hammer leaves behind it’s textures – bringing out a completely different feeling of the metal.
What I have also explored through my metal work is to draw a similarity in the tools of the labourers that helped me make this work. There is such an aesthetic in these tools – whether it is the design, the sound they make, or their form. For me to create a new aesthetic with the already existing forms was something that inspired the process of my own work.
Ritesh Meshramall images © the gallery and the artist(s)